From K-pop star to entrepreneur: member of the former Girls’ Generation shares her new plans

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South Korean pop star Jessica Jung may be best known as a former member of the K-pop band Girls’ Generation, but she has now branched out into the business world as the owner of her own fashion label, Blanc & Eclare.

The 32-year-old singer-turned-entrepreneur described herself as an “explorer” and said the transition from entertainment to fashion was “natural,” adding that she had “an amazing following in the fashion world.”

With over 9.9 million Instagram followers to her name, being a social media influencer turned out to be a full-time commitment.

Her secret?

“You have to be sincere, and you have to have a character for yourself. Then there’s a connection that’s made between you and your followers. That’s how it grows,” she told CNBC’s Inside Ecommerce.

Jung also credited her fans for her success. “I’m very lucky because my career actually started in an era when social media was just beginning to take root. My fans and I started building it together.”

social media influencer

Jung said it can be challenging at times, especially if you’re looking for a break from work. “Social media moves so fast you just have to keep up with it a bit.”

When it comes to being the face of a brand, nurturing a personal connection with followers is crucial for Jung, who was named a global brand ambassador for cosmetics company Revlon in 2020.

She said a good mix of branded content and personal social media content helps.

“If I have branded content that I need to post, I’ll post it. Then I would definitely post some real daily activities and daily fashion, things that my fans and my followers would really like to see,” Jung said.

According to a “Social Salary Calculator” from music licensing platform Lickd.co, social media influencers with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram can typically earn more than $4,000 per Instagram post.

You have to be real, and you have to have a character of your own. Then there is a connection between you and your followers.
Jessica Jungo
former member of K-pop band Girls’ Generation

Jung also has her concerns about social media.

“It can make people insecure,” she said, referring to the “Like” button on social media platforms. “I’ve seen it happen to a lot of people around me.”

Life during the pandemic

As for her life during the pandemic, Jung said her traveling lifestyle has been suspended and she is now based in South Korea.

“I used to be constantly traveling and I was back in Korea just to pack up and leave. But now I’m here – full time,” Jung said.

This change has led to the launch of its first flagship store in Seoul for Blanc & Eclare in January 2021, a luxury fashion brand that sells classic clothing and accessories, such as sunglasses, for women. She also opened her own restaurant, Clareau, on the second floor of the flagship store, serving contemporary cuisine.

Despite not being able to travel as much as before, she has enjoyed her stay in South Korea. “I didn’t think I’d like it so much, but I really love it because I didn’t know I missed it so much at home. I had time to take care of myself – mentally and physically.”

Jung will be releasing new singles throughout the year that will lead to an album, something that was initially delayed due to Covid-19.

As for other projects, she confirmed with CNBC that a new season of her reality show starring her sister Krystal of K-pop girl group f(x) will air in late September.

Jung said her book “Bright,” a sequel to her New York Times best-seller “Shine,” will be released in mid-2022.

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